Don’t limit your burger potential! Grill up a well-seasoned patty and serve it on a bed of greens with gouda cheese sauce for a delicious dinner. This Bacon Burger Salad has it all!
This post is part of a kick-butt burger grill giveaway hosted by GirlCarnivore but the burger epicness is all my own. I am not being compensated for this.
A salad and a burger walk into a bar. Okay, okay, not really. But those two craveworthy dishes do get mashed up to great effect in this Bacon Burger Salad with Gouda Cheese Sauce and it’s divine.
When I first made this salad for my kids — Will is 13 and Paige is 11 — both were a little skeptical … until they saw it. A perfectly cooked (and seasoned!) burger patty is served on a bed of greens, red onions and tomatoes. Then it’s topped with a creamy, lovely gouda cheese sauce and smoky, salty crumbled bacon.
Did I mention that this dish is simply divine?
Making Well-Seasoned and Perfectly Cooked Burgers
A pound of ground beef — 85% is best for this — is seasoned thoroughly with salt and pepper. Work the seasonings into the meat. Then divide it into four portions and form four patties.
Hint: Always press a thumb into the center of your patties. It helps prevent shrinkage when they cook.
For this salad, I prefer to grill the patties — and I did! It was a bit of a momentous occasion since I have been grill-free since we moved to Maine almost five years ago. Well, except for the itty bitty tiny camp charcoal grill that ended up being way too small for our needs. That doesn’t count.
This charcoal grill does. It’s not fancy (it was a $20 steal) and it’s certainly not the fine, well-crafted gas grill that I used to have (that beauty now resides at my ex-MIL’s house, from what I hear …). But pour in some charcoal, get the fire going and it’s just what I need right now.
These could also be cooked on a gas grill or even the stovetop. See the recipe for instructions for all three methods.
Once the burgers are cooked, let them rest while you make the sauce.
Making Creamy Gouda Cheese Sauce
The real piece de resistance of this salad though is the sauce which serves as the salad dressing. Yes, I said that the Gouda Cheese Sauce is treated as dressing. I know it sounds crazy but it’s absolutely delightful.
To make the sauce, start with bacon grease (you’re making bacon for these salads, so just reserve a little) and whisk in flour to make a roux. (Alternatively, you could use butter instead of bacon grease, but … why would you?)
Then add milk a little at a time, whisking it thoroughly in after each addition. Once the milk is all added and the mixture is good and hot, whisk in the gouda cheese and season with mustard, salt and pepper.
The creamy gouda cheese sauce is ready to enjoy.
Assembling the Salads
Ok … The bacon’s cooked, the burgers made and the gouda cheese sauce is ready. Time to assemble the salads!
You’ll need four plates. Divide the lettuce evenly among them. Top with onions and tomatoes. Place a burger atop each. Drizzle with cheese sauce. Top with bacon.
Viola! Your salads are ready.
Hint: Assemble the salads just before serving. You want to dig in as soon as they’re prepared.
Cheese sauce and burger on a salad? This is the main course you didn’t know you were missing.
And one last note: When you want to make these, be sure to set aside enough time to cook from start to finish. Also, though it should probably go without saying, read the instructions thoroughly before beginning. The cooking process goes swiftly, so knowing what’s coming will make it go smoother.
- 8-oz. thick-cut bacon (about 1/2-lb)
- 1 lb. ground beef (85% is recommended)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp bacon fat (alternative: 1 tbsp. unsalted butter)
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded gouda cheese (about 3-4-oz.)
- 1/4 tsp dry ground mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 cups torn lettuce (recommended: butter, Bibb or romaine)
- 1 large tomato, sliced and quartered
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced and halved
- Cook the bacon to crisp. Remove strips to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the fat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with salt and pepper. Divide into four even balls. Form into patties (about 1/4-inch thick) and press a thumb in the center -- it will help limit shrinkage.
- Cook the burgers. To grill with gas: Heat a gas grill up to desired temperature (about half heat). Place the burgers on the grates and cook, flipping once to desired doneness. To grill with charcoal: Prepare briquettes in a kettle grill for grilling (arrange, light, burn until flames subside and the coals are hot. Place the burgers on the grates and cook, flipping once, to desired doneness. To panfry: Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, to desired doneness. Remove from heat.
- Next, prepare the sauce. Heat the bacon fat (or unsalted butter) in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the purpose flour and whisk to incorporate. Cook for 1-2 minutes until bubbling. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking to incorporate after each addition. Continue until all the milk has been added and the sauce is smooth. Add the dry ground mustard to the pan and whisk to incorporate. Heat for 4-6 minutes until bubbles begin to form. Add the cheese and whisk to incorporate. Taste and season with salt and pepper to desired flavor.
- Finally, make the salads. Divide the lettuce between four plates. Top with 1/4 of the tomatoes and red onions. Place a burger patty on each and drizzle with gouda cheese sauce. Top with two slices of bacon, crumbled as desired (I prefer large pieces). Enjoy!
These salads are flexible. Feel free to add your favorite burger toppings to the mix such as avocado slices, alfalfa and pickles.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 795 Total Fat: 55g Saturated Fat: 23g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 27g Cholesterol: 203mg Sodium: 2004mg Carbohydrates: 13g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Protein: 61g
It’s Burger Month! (And There’s a Giveaway!)
For the past several years, I have joined in the fun of Burger Month, created by Kita Roberts of GirlCarnivore and held each May. In 2017, I shared a Cheddar Bacon Panfried Burger and in 2018, I shared Buffalo Blue Cheese Skiller Burgers with Onion Straws. Both were indoor burgers. I am so excited to bring my burger game outdoors this year!
Be sure to follow along every day for the entire month of May for chances to win the Ultimate Burger Grilling Giveaway and check BurgerMonth.com daily for all of the amazing burgers.a Rafflecopter giveaway
A huge thanks to the #BurgerMonth sponsors for the Ultimate Burger Grilling Giveaway: Cabot Cheese, Char-Griller Grills, Crow Canyon Home, Porter Road, Melissa’s Produce, Red Duck, Spiceology, & Western BBQ.
Also check out the other Burger Month bloggers:
🍔 Girl Carnivore 🍔 A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures 🍔 A Simple Pantry 🍔 Abra’s Kitchen 🍔 AcadiaTwo’s Kitchen Antics 🍔 An Affair from the Heart 🍔 Bakersbeans 🍔 Betsi’s World 🍔Bowl Me Over 🍔by Sarah Halstead 🍔Caroline’s Cooking 🍔 Cindy’s Recipes and Writings 🍔 City Living Boston 🍔 Cluttercafe 🍔 Cooking With Carlee 🍔 Convos with Karen 🍔Daily Dish Recipes 🍔 Dance Around The Kitchen 🍔 Dixie Chik Cooks 🍔 Dizzy Busy and Hungry 🍔 Doodlecraft 🍔 Everyday Eileen 🍔 Family Around the Table 🍔 Family Food on the Table 🍔 Family Spice 🍔Farmwife Feeds 🍔Food Above Gold 🍔 For the Love of Food 🍔 Grillax.com 🍔 Grilling Montana 🍔 Grumpy’s Honeybunch 🍔 Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks 🍔 Honeybunch Hunts 🍔 HORNS BBQ 🍔 Intelligent Domestications 🍔 It Is a Keeper 🍔 Jersey Girl Books 🍔 Jolene’s Recipe Journal 🍔 Jonesin For Taste 🍔 Juggling Act Mama 🍔 Karen’s Kitchen Stories 🍔 Kate’s Recipe Box 🍔 Krazy Kitchen Mom 🍔 Life Anchored 🍔 Life of a Ginger 🍔 Mildly Meandering 🍔 Miss in the KItchen 🍔 Palatable Pastime 🍔 Pastry Chef Online 🍔 Perspective Portions 🍔 Plowing Through Life 🍔 PNW Eats 🍔 Pook’s Pantry 🍔 Real Life With Dad 🍔 Sarah’s Cucina Bella 🍔 Seduction In The Kitchen 🍔 Simple and Savory 🍔 Souffle Bombay 🍔 Spiced 🍔 Spoonabilities 🍔 Strawberry Blondie Kitchen 🍔 SueBee Homemaker 🍔 Sumptuous Spoonfuls 🍔 Sweet ReciPeas 🍔 Swirls of Flavor 🍔 Take Two Tapas 🍔 Tampa Cake Girl 🍔 Taste And See 🍔 The Baking Fairy 🍔 The Beard and The Baker 🍔 The Complete Savorist 🍔 The Crumby Kitchen 🍔 The Heritage Cookbook Project 🍔 The Keto Guy 🍔 The Redhead Baker 🍔 The Rowdy Baker 🍔 The Schmidty Wife 🍔 The Shirley Journey 🍔 The Spiffy Cookie 🍔 This Farm Girl Cooks 🍔 Thyme for Cocktails 🍔 We are not Martha 🍔 Well Fed Baker 🍔 West Via Midwest 🍔 What’s Cooking Italian Style Cuisine 🍔 Who Needs A Cape? 🍔 Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen 🍔 Wok & Skillet 🍔 Zest & Simmer 🍔
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.